The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina met IOI Prof Timothy Walsh on 26 February 2023 and discussed her continued commitment to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Bangladesh and globally.

As Co-chair of the Global Leaders Group (GLG) on AMR from 2020 to 2022, H.E. PM Hasina has accelerated political momentum, leadership and action against global AMR.

AMR is one of the most pressing health challenges in the world today and is predicted to cause at least 10 million deaths per year by 2050.

The IOI is developing new drugs for human use and animal use to tackle AMR, while also undertaking surveillance programmes around the world to assess the impact of AMR.

Recognising the importance of research and scientific training to tackle AMR, the IOI and Bangladeshi government are exploring jointly funded DPhil initiatives to support talented Bangladeshi students to study solutions to antimicrobial resistance in Oxford.

Prime Minister Hasina, in accordance with her GLG stewardship, gave her unbridled support to establish UK AMR parliamentary caucus and provided a positive response to the participation of the Bangladesh parliament in the caucus as part of the G10 network.

During her meeting with Prof Walsh, Prime Minister Hasina reiterated the need to stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics, particularly in Bangladesh and declared to implement strict measures to prevent the sale of over-the-counter antibiotics in Bangladesh.

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest and most complex threats currently facing the world in the 21st century and the impact of AMR will affect everyone, everywhere. AMR is a collective responsibility across all sectors and countries. Prime Minister Hasina has led by example in tackling the global threat of AMR, particularly through her leadership in the Global Leaders Group on AMR. We are delighted to work closely with the Bangladeshi government.

Prof Tim Walsh, IOI Director of Biology

Prime Minister Hasina also spoke about the actions her government is taking to prioritise action against AMR including investment in research, medicine and agriculture, and scholarships for Bangladeshi graduates studying AMR.

Brigadier General Dr Md Nazmul Haque, Director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Dr Refath Farzana, Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Oxford, accompanied Prof Walsh in the meeting. The team also updated Prime Minister Hasina on ongoing collaborative research between IOI and Bangladeshi public hospitals.

We thank Prof Dr ABM Abdullah, H.E. Ms. Saida Muna Tasneem, Major General Kabir Ahmed, A. F. M. Zahid Ul Islam, Colonel Tawhida Nawazesh Rosie, Sonia Munni, Mr. M. Naziruzzaman and S. M. Rahatul Islam for their kind cooperation.

Prof Tim Walsh, IOI Director of Biology